All posts by Kate Johanns

Kate Johanns is a communications professional and freelance writer with more than 13 years of experience in publishing and marketing.

Tech Time Warp: The great Michelangelo scare

Tech Time Warp: The great Michelangelo scare

Thirty years ago, PC users around the world were left saying “Huh?” after the much-hyped Michelangelo virus turned out to be, well, not much. The virus’ enduring legacy might say more about the media than about a security risk, as...

/ March 4, 2022
Tech Time Warp: The origins of the Cult of the Dead Cow

Tech Time Warp: The origins of the Cult of the Dead Cow

The high plains of Lubbock, Texas—a conservative, church-going area of the country to be sure—are not where you would expect a group of “hacktivists” to have gotten its start, let alone the group that coined the term “hacktivism.” But the...

/ March 1, 2022
Tech Time Warp: The history of the indestructible QR code

Tech Time Warp: The history of the indestructible QR code

In the hazy “before times” of late 2019 and early 2020, the QR Code was the butt of many jokes. A QR Code seemed passé—almost like putting “e” or “I” at the beginning of a new device’s name and considering...

/ February 18, 2022 / 1 Comment
Pioneers in Tech: Jerry Lawson, pre-Atari game console designer

Pioneers in Tech: Jerry Lawson, pre-Atari game console designer

In the nascent days of video games, gaming consoles had limitations — namely, users were limited to one game, such as Al Alcorn’s groundbreaking Pong. But a group of engineers at the semiconductor company Fairchild — including the subject of...

/ February 11, 2022
Tech Time Warp: Hungarian hacker attempts to extort a job

Tech Time Warp: Hungarian hacker attempts to extort a job

Most people seeking employment dust off their resumes, respond to listings on Indeed, and wait to be called in for interviews. But, the subject of this week’s Tech Time warp, the Hungarian hacker Attila Nemeth, took a more colorful approach.

/ February 4, 2022
tech time warp meme
Tech Time Warp: Ally McBeal, the dancing baby, and the birth of memes

Tech Time Warp: Ally McBeal, the dancing baby, and the birth of memes

Oogachaka, oogachaka … readers of a certain age will remember the night in late January 1998 when the titular character on TV’s Ally McBeal danced with a computer-generated baby. The iconic scene—meant to convey Ally’s concerns about her biological clock—not...

/ January 28, 2022
Tech Time Warp: Microsoft offers $250,000 to catch the makers of Mydoom

Tech Time Warp: Microsoft offers $250,000 to catch the makers of Mydoom

Beginning in late January 2004, an email worm called Mydoom caught the attention of the world—and led Microsoft to offer $250,000 for information leading to its creator’s apprehension. At its peak, Mydoom accounted for approximately one-quarter of all email traffic...

/ January 24, 2022
Women in STEM
Pioneers in Tech: Anita Borg, Champion of Women in STEM

Pioneers in Tech: Anita Borg, Champion of Women in STEM

In 1992, Mattel made a big mistake with one of its flagship products. Teen Talk Barbie featured a computer chip, with each doll programmed to say four of 270 phrases. One of the phrases was the ill-conceived “Math class is...

/ January 14, 2022
Tech Time Warp
Tech Time Warp: Happy 59th birthday to Sketchpad

Tech Time Warp: Happy 59th birthday to Sketchpad

Your Apple Pencil or Surface Pen hardly seems remarkable now—but did you know the ancestor of these styli was first introduced 59 years ago? So begins our Tech Time warp back to January 7, 1963, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)...

/ January 7, 2022
GameOver | Tech Time Warp | SmarterMSP
Tech Time Warp: Game Over for GameOver Zeus

Tech Time Warp: Game Over for GameOver Zeus

On Dec. 30, 2016, President Barack Obama announced sanctions related to Russian state-sponsored hacking of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. An individual believed to be involved was already on the FBI’s most wanted list of cybercriminals—one Evgeniy Bogachev, leader of...

/ December 31, 2021